Diversity is incredibly important to BAFTA – both in terms of our internal structures as an organisation, but also in the work we do as a charity to develop the film, television and games industries. As a champion of creative excellence, we want all talented people to be able to succeed in the industries, regardless of their background.
The following lays out the areas we monitor and some of the measures we take to help ensure we represent a diverse range of voices and viewpoints in our work.
BFI Diversity Standards
Following a consultation with the BFI and a range of industry professionals, we have added the BFI Diversity Standards to the eligibility criteria for the Outstanding British Film and Outstanding Debut by a British Writer, Director or Producer categories from 2019. This significant change demonstrates BAFTA’s intention to take a leading role, together with our key partners, in increasing the representation of under-represented groups in front of and behind the camera. Under-represented groups in the film industry include people from minority ethnic backgrounds, disabled people, women and LGBT. It also includes people from lower socio-economic groups. In certain categories, productions based or set outside London can also count towards achieving the standards.
In order to meet the standards, productions need to demonstrate that they have worked to increase the representation of under-represented groups in two of the four following areas:
• On screen representation, themes and narratives
• Project leadership and creative practitioners
• Industry access and opportunities
• Opportunities for diversity in audience development.
The BAFTA Film Committee has reviewed the Standards and believes they are a flexible and achievable model, which the whole industry can adopt as a shared language for understanding diversity. They also provide a shared framework for measuring diversity so that the industry can track progress over time.
• BAFTA is a small organisation with a large influence across the film, television and games industries. We’re not interested in grand gestures for short term gain. We’re committed to diversity in the long term and work hard to ensure that our policies and practices across all of our activity – whether awards recognition, membership benefits or support for new talent – enable us to be open, accessible and inclusive, whilst maintaining BAFTA standards of excellence.
• We’re delighted that both Film4 and BBC films will be adopting the standards.
• Many people in the industry are already encouraging diversity in various ways. By referencing these standards, we’re providing a shared language in terms of what ‘support for diversity’ means, enabling the industry to pull together in the same direction.
• Consensus amongst leading British film producers with whom we’ve consulted is that working to meet the standards is an achievable and worthwhile activity.
Membership & Governance
It is very important to us that BAFTA is seen as a welcoming and accessible organisation. We monitor the composition of our committees and have surveyed our members to make sure we have an accurate picture of the make up of our membership and which groups are under-represented.
We monitor applicants to our vacancies to ensure that our applications reflect the diversity of the local population. We provide opportunities for flexible working whenever possible. We run an internship scheme offering work-based training and encourage entrants from diverse backgrounds. All our internships are paid, and are recruited through fair and open practices.
Learning and New Talent
BAFTA’s year-round programme of learning events is open to all. Our events offer a platform for BAFTA winners and nominees to share their expertise and so we make efforts to ensure that our events are accessible to all – for example, subsidising ticket prices to ensure they are affordable. We monitor our audiences closely and target any under-represented groups where necessary.
Our New Talent initiatives highlight the next generation of talent. We make every effort to ensure that the processes we use to select this talent are fair and open and, where possible, work is judged anonymously.
BAFTA has published a research report, commissioned in partnership with Creative Skillset and the BFI, that examines the career success factors of film, television and games practitioners from under-represented groups. BAFTA is using the findings to inform several of its initiatives.
Recognising the important role our event chairs have in promoting an inclusive industry, which is welcoming to all of our differences, we have updated our guidance notes for chairs to ensure they are equipped to provide balance and tackle offensive language.
We monitor our juries to help us ensure they represent a diversity of perspectives. We have also introduced the BFI Diversity Standards as part of the eligibility criteria for the British categories in the Film Awards. See above.
BAFTA runs a scheme called Gift of the Academy, enabling charities and not-for-profits to apply for complimentary hire of BAFTA headquarters. At least one of the recipients each year is a scheme which works to increase diversity in film, TV and games.